ring  Ring around the Moon 2/27/02
Ring around the Moon 2/27/02
DSC 1645  Moon and Jupiter
Moon and Jupiter
moon moonvens  Moon and Venus
Moon and Venus
newmoon  24-hour-old new Moon
24-hour-old new Moon
lunecl1  Total Lunar eclipse and Saturn
Total Lunar eclipse and Saturn
DSCF1650  Total lunar eclipse 10/27/04
Total lunar eclipse 10/27/04
DSCF2997  Moon and Venus 5/19/07
Moon and Venus 5/19/07
DSC 1248  Moonrise Milpitas
Moonrise Milpitas
SuperMoonEclipse 4113  Supermoon eclipse 9/28/15
Supermoon eclipse 9/28/15
SuperMoonEclipseHDR  Supermoon eclipse HDR 9/28/15
Supermoon eclipse HDR 9/28/15
Fireworks6  Fireworks and the Moon
Fireworks and the Moon
earthmoon  How We Get a Full Moon A non-scientist friend recently called me up with a question: how can we ever have a full Moon? If the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, wouldn't at least PART of the Earth's shadow fall on the Moon? Well, I KNEW the answer to that question was that the Moon's orbit around the Earth is tilted by about 5.8 degrees. However, the more I thought about it, the less satisfying that answer seemed. I mean, 5.8 degrees really isn't THAT much, is it? So, it finally hit me that I should try and draw a diagram to scale of the Earth-Moon system. When I did, the result startled even me. It REALLY drove home the importance of scientific visualization. What I saw in an instant was that, at the distances involved, 5.8 degrees of tilt is WAY more than enough to take the Moon far, far out of the Earth's shadow for the majority of its orbit.
How We Get a Full Moon

A non-scientist friend recently called me up with a question: how can we ever have a full Moon? If the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun, wouldn't at least PART of the Earth's shadow fall on the Moon?

Well, I KNEW the answer to that question was that the Moon's orbit around the Earth is tilted by about 5.8 degrees. However, the more I thought about it, the less satisfying that answer seemed. I mean, 5.8 degrees really isn't THAT much, is it?

So, it finally hit me that I should try and draw a diagram to scale of the Earth-Moon system. When I did, the result startled even me. It REALLY drove home the importance of scientific visualization. What I saw in an instant was that, at the distances involved, 5.8 degrees of tilt is WAY more than enough to take the Moon far, far out of the Earth's shadow for the majority of its orbit.